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Job Title:
VP Strategic Research Services
Job ID:
Job Function:
Full/Part Time:
Job Category:
Washington, DC US
Business Unit:
Policy, Res & Interntnl Affair
Business Unit Description

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million that helps people turn their goals and dreams into 'Real Possibilities' by changing the way America defines aging. With staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and promote the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare security, financial security and personal fulfillment. AARP also advocates for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name.  As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation magazine, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin.

Policy, Research and International Affairs (PRI) serves AARP by leading the development and articulation of AARP’s public policies, research and insights on the 50+ and issues that matter to them, importing best global practices, and strengthening AARP's reputation for world class expertise and thought leadership.



Summary Statement

AARP Research is an integral part of Policy, Research and International (“PRI”) which includes AARP’s Thought Leadership group, the Public Policy Institute, the Office of International Affairs, and the Office of Policy Integration. The Vice President (VP) of Strategic Research Services will lead a department with the larger Research organization of three unique but complementary teams that support the research efforts of the larger Research organization and AARP.  These teams include:

  • Library & Strategic Services, which manages our library services –including a new high profile library space in the building, and our syndicated research relationships
  • Creative & Communication Services, which supports the larger Research team with digital media, data visualization, graphics and design, and more
  • Research Resources, which includes our in-house research assets such as consumer panels and communities, a survey database, etc.

The VP will shape and direct an agenda for the department focused on high ROI research services that yield actionable insights and foster innovative thinking about how we approach research, knowledge management, and insights sharing.  While insisting on the highest standards in supporting research and driving the growing reputation of AARP Research as a respected source of research assets, data and insights on the 50+, the VP will also be focused on driving a culture of curiosity and innovation within the Strategic Services team to bring in new solutions for the larger Research organization. As a key ambassador for AARP Research and our capabilities both internally and externally, they will be passionate about insights that drive impact and innovation and will facilitate strong client relationships and an external network of partners and advisors.


The responsibilities of the VP of Strategic Research Services will include the following:

  • A strong critical thinker and leader who can effectively drive a high impact team with unique skill sets and outcomes, and who can proactively develop solutions for the broader Research organization, including metrics, systems, resources and platforms when relevant;
  • An innovation-focused leader who can think strategically about the variety of resources and support needed to address a wide range of research needs across the organization – from rigorous academic-level research to fast-paced iterative consumer-centered design;
  • An inspirational team leader that will focus on talent development and building the capabilities of the Strategic Research Services team, fostering an environment of professional growth and accountability;
  • A proactive leader that will think strategically about how to best shepherd the resources of the organization, including developing strong partnerships with our 3rd party providers;
  • A strategic thinker that can align the Strategic Research Services department’s focus, efforts, and resources with the organization’s broader goals and strategies, and play an active role in decision-making, resource management, and thought leadership across the organization; and
  • A dedicated collaborator, who will work closely with the SVP of Research and the VP of Consumer Insights to ensure the success and impact of the Research group.


The Vice President provides direct management of AARP employees including, but not limited to:

  • Conducting regular one-on-one meetings to assign, manage and review individual work;
  • Organizing team meetings to communicate critical departmental and organizational information;
  • Facilitating the annual performance management cycle, including performance and development assessments and conversations;
  • Directing ongoing recognition and compensation, as well as annual merit and incentive planning decisions;
  • Enforcing compliance with all enterprise policies and guidelines, including timesheet review and approval;
  • Partnering in the recruiting process; and
  • Managing enterprise assets and budgets; and addressing employee relations and performance issues with timely engagement of HR Business Partner.



Operates in an environment requiring adaptation and agility with managing change. This position requires a high degree of innovation and conceptualization, balanced with a focus on execution. 


Reports to the Senior Vice President of AARP Research.  Interacts frequently with PRI leadership, PRI staff, and AARP’s leadership team. This position must be able to balance priorities and demands in a collaborative and authoritative manner.


  • Direct responsibility for effectively managing team’s operating budget including compensation and operating expenses.
  • Accountability for making day-to-day decisions.
  • Accountability for cooperating and collaborating with other PRI leaders.
  • Accountability for execution of committed work efforts and adherence to agreed quality guidelines.

Dedicated focus on continuous improvement with clear responsibility for maximizing value of AARP Research to PRI and the AARP enterprise.



  • PhD, MBA/MA or Bachelor’s  degree  in  the  social  behavioral  sciences,  market  research or related discipline
  • 10 years relevant experience
  • Experience managing teams that need project management or other service-related support and resources
  • Strong knowledge and command of research methodologies, techniques, and processes
  • Strong understanding of financial planning and budgeting processes
  • Proven leadership skills and a management style that is effective with leading and developing highly skilled team members and supporting processes for accountability
  • Self-awareness, emotional maturity, and a demonstrated ability to connect authentically with others.
  • Excellent oral and written presentation skills with the ability to convey key takeaways simply and visually, and to effectively communicate the value of research support services to the larger organization
  • Ability to adapt to AARP's organizational culture.



  • Experience across at least two of the core service areas of the department – information management and services, syndicated research management, creative and communication services, panel or community development and management, etc.
  • Experience developing and implementing systems and processes for ROI management – from KPIs and metrics development through reporting
  • Ability to demonstrate outstanding morale and team building skills.
  • Ability to maintain a strategic view and enable others to share it.

Benefits Offered

AARP offers competitive benefits with a 401K, 100% company funded pension plan, health, dental, vision and life insurance, STD/LTD, paid vacation and sick, and other benefits.

This position may provide relocation assistance. 

Equal Employment Opportunity

AARP is an equal opportunity employer committed to hiring a diverse workforce and sustaining an inclusive culture.  AARP does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, color, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, mental or physical disability, genetic information, veteran status, or on any other basis prohibited by applicable law.


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